To the "gay atheist" blog owner of "Discomfiting Christianity"


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Refuting Christians reading John Loftus' blogs and books and remodeling Tuscan style villas

So based on his blogger profile I'd like to address the "gay atheist" blog owner of Discomfiting Christianity [I put those words in quotation marks because I do not believe the Discomfiter is gay nor an atheist, but attempting to satirize both.]:

I suggest dropping the balpeen-hammer hints that homosexuals are worthy of derision, and also suggest you leave sarcasm to the experts [read more below]:

The Simpsons as Religious Satire

The Onion [on God]

The Onion [on Christ]

The Onion [on religion]

Which Circle? [celebrating the truth, beauty, & absurdity of Christian campus ministry]

...or leave it to Christians who have a more expansive sense of humor:

The Door Magazine [Christians satirizing excesses of fellow Christians]

Ship of Fools [another Christian site run by Christians willing to laugh at their own excesses,including links to other religious satire sites]

Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church

Not to mention the fact that Catholic wits like G. K. Chesterton were lifelong friends with his atheist and unorthodox friends even though they debated and satirized each others' views, even telling his atheist friend, H.G. Wells, that he saw him going to heaven for all the good he did for mankind, and even writing a novel about a Christian and atheist who wanted to duel to the death, but later came to be close friends (The Ball and the Cross).

Lastly, from what I've read at Tekton apologetics (a sexy female screaming bunny), or in The Best Christian Writing of the Year, there do not appear to be very many Evangelical Christian satirists up to say, Dave Barry level, let alone who could keep up with Voltaire, Twain, Mencken, or stand up routines by Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Eddie Izzard, Rowan Atkinson, George Carlin, or movies by Kevin Smith and Monty Python.

I would add that the opposite of fanaticism is not a rival fanatical spirit but simply acknowledging doubts in general and allowing bygones to be bygones, i.e., allowing people to start over, and attempt to get to know each other again.

For such reasons I tend to doubt that beliefs determine ones eternal destiny. Because even interpreting other people's ideas when communicating with them, people that you know, who live in the same time and era as yourself is fraught with difficulty, let alone "biblical exegesis," and trying to make "doctrines and dogmas" sound like nothing but pure rationality to other folks.


RJ said...

Standing and applauding, Ed. Couldn't agree with you more.

exapologist said...

I would add "The Colbert Report" under your list of experts at sarcasm, as this seems to be the derivative basis of the guy your talking about. Why do Christians always have to steal great ideas from unbelievers? Is there nothing original or non-derivative about Christianity?

Professor Doktor Matthias Flay said...

To be fair, exapologist, Steven Colbert is apparently a pretty devout Catholic.

Hiraeth said...

Ed, while I agree that persons should learn to laugh. For what it's worth, while I believe there is such a thing as blasphemy, I am also of the opinion that most satire of Christianity does not cross that line, just as most secular satire does not stray into libel or slander.

I found Rowan Atkinson's parody of a weak Church of England vicar in 'Not the Nine O'clock News' very funny because we could all identify that type, as with the vicar from 'Dad's Army' (who is apparently a Christian).

Christians must learn to distinguish between our cultural peculiarities and God's word. Trouble is, at least one of those links contained an ad hominem against a particular man the authors disagreed with, which is, in my book, below the belt.

Now, there is one thing wrong with your links, I fear. These are only religion parodies. Your answer will be that you can find no good parodies of atheism. Fine, but be warned, we can all laugh at the follies of others being skewered, but when the shots are close to home, do we not all wince, just a little?

Exapologist, I'd note that the first modern English novel was written by a Christian (either Defoe or Bunyan, depending on who you ask). If a thing is good, does it matter where the author got the idea, so long as it is not plagarism?

I'd note that the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence came from the British theist, John Locke. Was Jefferson wrong to pinch them? Your idea seems such a strange one that would demand two seperate socities, living side by side without commerce.

You and I disagree as to whether there is a God. Fine, but we live in the same society. We are shaped by many of the same influences. We are all of our times.

Hiraeth said...

Oh yes, and I'd add that satire is easier when we have tradition and canons to satirise. look at Blackadder, where the second and fourth series' were sending up specific views (the BBC Elizabeth R. series and First World War fiction). Atheism is deeply personal, there are as many branches of atheism as there atheists. But Christianity has its traditions and a public face.

Now, there are some atheists who are very public, like Dawkins, or the 'village atheist', that is, the gentleman who believes himself to be the smartest guy in the room when he is in fact a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. To cite the Simpsons example, there are atheist Flanders', are there not?

But we mus always be careful to remember that satire is just that. The argument that looked so good in that parody will probably sink like a stone in real life.

Sandalstraps said...

I read some of the comments by and to the Discomfiter and wondered what the fuss was all about, so I checked out the blog. There is simply no excuse for such juvenile behavior. I can't pretend to know whether this person is a theist or an atheist, but I do know that they are no friend of John Loftus, and no student of his, either.

I once chewed John out pretty good for a post which I thought was, at best, in extremely poor taste. That post, however, has nothing on the absurdity of Discomfiting Christianity. The Discomfiter yanks quotes out of context and pretends that they represent the best arguments of someone he clearly does not respect. Then, when called on it, they fall back to the line:

"I was using Loftus' own arguments, so I don't see why you're upset."

No arguments, however, are made; they are simply parodied in the worst sort of strawman presentation.

I don't have much sympathy for the main project of Debunking Christianity, though (pardon the pun) I do read the content here religiously. However, I have a great deal less sympathy for such a ridiculous and insulting parody of Debunking Christianity.

I think that it is safe to assume that the Discomfiter is a theist and probably a Christian, having some fun at the expense of others. I once argued that moderate Muslims should stand up to radical Islam, and condemn the violence being done in the name of their God. As a Christian, then, I cannot remain silent while someone apparently justifies what I consider to be an immoral means to their evangelical end.

The Internet in general, and the blogosphere in particular, sometimes brings out the worst in people. Free from the social constraints which bind us in "real life," we can in relaive annonymity play out of too often immoral fantasies. The Discomfiter is a bad idea which should have been self-edited.

John W. Loftus said...

I'll have a little fun with the discomfiter, but the bottom line is that he does not think of me as a person. To him I'm a non-person, an evil doer, a tool of satan. I have maintained all along that the only thing that may keep people like the discomfiter from torturing and killing me for blasphemy is that he lacks the political power to do so. He will deny this, of course. But once someone is a non-person you can do anything you want to him, and that's scary. He is too stupid to see it. Until he can treat me like a person I will argue against his faith.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thats so funny and so appropriate. Coincidentally, I recently wrote in my blog (in response to the Good Bad and Ugly pseudo-blog)about how Christians in general suck at sarcasm and parody, and how atheists rock at it. I even mentioned Landover Baptist as well.